There’s one thing the Lenawee Economic Development Corporation is focusing on, said director Jim Gartin, and that’s jobs.
Gartin spoke to Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce members Thursday at the group’s monthly meeting.
Gartin said the goal of his organization is to bring in new business to match the county’s workforce.
In 2009, the vast majority of county business reports he received were negative.
“It’s almost completely reversed in 2011,” he said. “We want that positive trend to continue.”
Gartin said positive business reports are coming from at least 90 percent of the companies contacted.
Unemployment figures have dropped by four percent in the last 12 to 15 months. Each percentage point equals from 300 to 400 workers in Lenawee County, Gartin said.
He said there’s a lag of about 18 months before a strong recovery kicks in. He expects that to show here in the first quarter of 2012.
Working toward the future through job training doesn’t help the present situation, Gartin said, but he also hopes to bring skilled labor back to southeast Michigan—those who had to leave to find work.
“There are limited resources everywhere,” he said. “We need to collaborate and work together.”
That includes groups such as the local Chamber of Commerce offices.
Gartin mentioned the series of entrepreneurial workshops instigated by the Lenawee Economic Development Corporation last year. Funding comes through South Central Michigan Works.
One of those classes—one that focuses on selling through eBay—is scheduled June 2 in Morenci.
EVENT—First Federal Bank has scheduled a customer appreciation event June 17. New York style hot dogs will be served.
MEMBERS—New members Jessica and Phil Stark, owners of Little People’s Place, and Les Tompkins of JLT Graphix were introduced.